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It's a Dawg Life, Spark Lessons

Monday, August 13, 2018

Sparkers! Last week was a very busy at work - lots of long days - and I'm finally on vacation. It's the annual Spend A Week Doing As Little As Possible With My Sisters in New Jersey vacation. That gave me the chance to catch up on a few days of blogs.

Several themes resonated with me. MJREIMERS and KELLIEBEAN wrote about getting out and getting it done. ONEKIDSMOM and MOBYCARP wrote about the book The Solution and changing deeply ingrained responses to certain behaviors that may affect our mental and emotional well being. MTN_KITTEN and HARROWJET are both staying the course despite some struggles.

I love the SparkPeople community. Someone writes about their own struggles or successes. I learn from them. Or I have some encouragement to offer them given my own experiences. Or best, they give me insights into my own behaviors and give me something to seriously consider. I think it is safe to say that these Sparkers did all those things.

MTN_KITTEN and HARROWJET, I hear ya! It's not easy. I've had great successes in the past. In those times, I think, "I. Have. Got. This. I have mastered weight loss and maintenance. I found the key to lifelong weight maintenance success." And then ka-pow! I get the Universal Dope Slap that tells me that I have plenty to learn. I have not mastered it. I need to start again and be vigilant.

MJREIMERS and KELLIEBEAN, you guys got me out of the door today. I packed plenty of work out clothes but no real plan for exercise. I took the train to NJ this time, so I am dependent on others for transportation. Usually I go to the local YMCA and do two or three days of strength training and a bike ride or swim or two. Well, no car locks me in to my sister's house. Yes, she'd let me borrow her car if I asked, but it was a good excuse to not go because I didn't want to inconvenience her. And the weather is tough. Lots of rain. But their blogs on "getting to run" vs. "have to run" and just do it for a minute... just get out for a little bit of exercise got to me. I got up off the couch, put on running gear, walked the dog for a warm up and then went out for a run. In the rain. I like running in the rain. It reminds me of all the times that my mother let us play in the rain when we were kids. And it reminds me of all the times that my mother DIDN'T let us play in the rain when we were kids. I like playing in the rain. Playtime was 41 minutes of running in a misty, wet rain.

MOBYCARP and ONEKIDSMOM's reference and reflections on The Solution by Laurel Mellin have me thinking. Thinking enough that I bought two of Mellin's books. An updated version of The Solution (The 3-Day Solution Plan) and Wired for Joy.

Many of you know that I have issues with anxiety. A little more than 5 years ago, I was out on medical leave due to work-related anxiety. With therapy I have learned how to better manage it, but it still gets to me. Never as bad as it was 5 years ago. However, lately I've been having an interior dialogue where my truthful side is telling my "stick my head in the sand" side that there is a direct relationship between my feelings of anxiety and my ability to maintain my weight and maintain a challenging work out schedule.

I'm not quite ready to work through this problem in this blog. I want to read Mellin's book and apply whatever lessons she has to my own experience. However, I do know that I have to get a grip on the anxiety. It's at a constant, medium-level irritating level. Last night I had one of those dreams that keep re-starting despite waking up to stop the dream. I was dreaming that I was stuck with a house that my predecessor owned. This house was filled with beautiful old furniture that stuffed the house. But the house was also rotting and there were patches where the woodwork and structure of the house was infested with insects and vermin. Carl Jung would have a field day with this dream.

So Sparkers, thank you for being you. You help me. And I know you help others, too.
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